Quality: What Is It?
It is always hard to give a
clear definition of what quality
really is or means, as it can
be at times a very subjective
point. Perhaps we can start
with one of the many definitions
given in the Merriam Webster
Thesaurus: “Something that
sets apart an individual from
others of the same kind.”
If we replace the words “an individual” with “a product,” we have something that can help us understand what it is and why it matters: “Quality is something that sets apart a product from others of the same kind.”
Whenever we go to a store and try to find, say, a pair of jeans, we are bombarded with endless choices and options. We can find virtually any price, from as low as $10 to as high as several hundred dollars. Once we are faced with so many choices, and after we have made a first selection based on the above criteria, we are still left with many options. We inevitably tend to gravitate toward something that is, in our mind, “better quality.”
Better Fabrics Make Better Garments
The best denims produced today are the result of a painstaking effort to reproduce old fabrics from last century. When we work with great fabrics, it is much easier to produce superior looking clothes that not only have the visual appeal we try to achieve, but also have the strength to support the heavy laundry processes used to give them “that vintage look and feel.”
I have noticed over the years that all the better denim mills are also spinners. The foundation of a great denim is a great yarn, which has all of the desired characteristics of strength, appearance, dyeability, hand-feel and so on. Choosing the best possible cotton is critical in this process.
Because of the increased cost of raw materials, I am concerned that some spinners might cave in to the resistance of the retailers to increase their prices and will substitute traditional cotton with cheaper alternatives.
This would be a short-sighted measure that may help the margins today but would definitely jeopardize the end quality of our garments.
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